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4.7 out of 5 stars
84
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 3 July 2009
This book gives a fool-proof method of designing a garden with all you need to know as a beginner, plus great inspiration for us old-fashioned designers who still use a drawing board regarding new computer software and inspiring modern schemes that give a new slant on traditional tecniques. The format is divided into chapters on different styles plus chapters on the practical aspects. The whole book is illustrated by beautiful photographs and is both useful and entertaining.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 October 2014
I bought this whilst I was studying for a professional-level diploma in garden design. It wasn't on our reading list but I did find it a useful jumping off point when looking for inspiration – there are plenty of photos to whet the appetite. The book is divided into four sections: How to Design; Choosing a Style: Making a Garden: Plant & Materials guide. There are useful pointers in terms of design taking into account the use to which the garden will be put, planning space, the desired level of maintenance, etc. and a range of garden styles are presented. There are a few garden plans but fewer than I would have expected, and the discussion of the various elements of a garden is sometimes quite poor. I found the plant & materials guide to be rather limited, particularly in relation to hard landscaping. I wasn't overly impressed by the selection of plants in the guide – you would be much better off buying plant encyclopaedia for this purpose to get a broader range of plants. Overall, I'd say the book will be more useful for beginners/amateurs mainly because, whilst it is comprehensive in the areas covered, it lacks depth.
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The RHS and Dorling Kindersley have produced a superbly well-structured guide to the process of designing, constructing and planting a garden; begin at the beginning of the book, work through it, and by the end even a novice will know how to design, make and plant a garden.

It is lavishly illustrated with understandable drawings and relevant photographs to support the clear text. It is much more comprehensive than a mere introduction to garden design, and yet it is not too daunting for a keen beginner, most of whom will be able to use it as a first real design tool to produce a finished garden. Experienced designers, who will probably already have access to much greater detail in more advanced books, should still find it a useful overview and source of new ideas and an easy way to educate clients.

It is divided into four main sections.
. The techniques of Garden Design, and how to apply them; ranging from first principles of design, through selection of plants and materials, through planning, to a worked case study as a practical example.
. How to choose the Style that will be best suited to your ideas and environment.
. Making a Garden covers the methods of practical construction for the infrastructure and planting techniques for best practice and best results.
. A general guide on how to choose relevant Plants and Materials.

It is not an Encyclopaedia in the conventional sense understood by most people. I think this word is completely out of place and dropping it from the title and Foreword would give a much more accurate impression of what this book really is - an excellent educational Guide. Even the listings of plants and materials are non-alphabetic, except within the subcategories. The only alphabetical listing of topics is in the Index at the end.
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on 6 December 2010
I'm a garden designer [...] and I bought this book some time ago and didnt get time to read it. I picked it up yesterday and was astonished at what a fantastic reference book it is, for just about anything to do with garden design. A must have for all designers and garden lovers!
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on 5 May 2009
Excellent - This book was everything it was supposed to be - my daughter has recently moved to a house with an extremely overgrown garden. We were able to identify existing plants and trees, and plan her new garden using design ideas and tips in the book.
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on 28 May 2013
This book was so much better than I expected. I am new to gardening as a hobby and wanted something that would give some fresh ideas, but was also informative and accessible to beginners. This book exceeded my expectations with its clear advice and guidelines on things to consider when planning a garden, and brilliant insights into the wide array of garden styles to choose from. It explains things that other gardening books take for granted that you, as the reader, already know. One of the best features is the breakdown of key elements that each garden style has, so you can incorporate the right things into your own garden. It's an inspirational book and great to dip in and out of, or devour at once! Definitely buy this!
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on 5 May 2009
This book is fantastic whether you have a large or small garden, live in the country or city. Ideas, planning and inspiration for everyone whether you enjoy a traditional garden or modern ideas. Every design idea is in here and is a wonderful gift. Well done to Chris Young and contributors for a supberb book.
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on 7 April 2009
This is probably the nicest book of its kind that I have seen. The sections are more varied and informative than usual garden books of its type, and there are lots of ideas. The gardens are real and current - not photo library pictures that we have all seen in several books. I know this because our garden is featured! Well worth the money and a lovely present for people who are interested in gardens/gardening.
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on 30 March 2010
This book is excellent, very comprehensive in its coverage. The topics and images are well set out and the strength of this book is that it would appeal both to the serious student - RHS or other courses - and to the more casual leisure gardener alike.
The book deserves more publicity and exposure.
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on 11 September 2012
Great photos but limited use as lack of any real detail. Not sure quite who it's aimed at; not really a coffee table book or a good reference book. No help if, for example, you want to underatnd perspectives and how to plant to make a garden look wider or longer for example. Best section is on the plants and that's a small section and you'd be better off buying other RHS plant books for plant information. Pity as I have other RHS books on plants which are really useful.
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